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Indian Army chopper strays into PoK; released

ISLAMABAD/NEW DELHI:  An Indian Army helicopter strayed into Pakistan-occupied Kashmir on Sunday and was forced by Pakistani military to land and four onboard Army personnel taken into custody but the crisis was quickly defused and the chopper allowed to return to India.

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Raja, Kanimozhi set to face trial in 2G scam


NEW DELHI: The way was on Saturday paved for the trial in the 2G spectrum allocation scam case with a special court framing charges against former telecom minister A Raja, Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam MP Kanimozhi and 15 others for offences including criminal breach of trust that entails a maximum punishment of life term.
Besides Raja and Kanimozhi, corporate honchos - Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group’s MD Gautam Doshi, Group president Surendra Pipara and senior vice president Hari Nair, Unitech MD Sanjay Chandra and Swan Telecom promoters Shahid Usman Balwa and Vinod Goenka - are among the other high-profile accused who will face trial, commencing on November 11.
“I hereby direct that you all be tried by this court for aforesaid charges (alleged by CBI),” special CBI judge Mr O P Saini, who dealt with offences under thirteen heads in his order, said in the packed courtroom.
There was a pall of gloom in the courtroom as the accused, their family members and relatives heard the judge pronouncing the order allowing trial under all the penal provisions raised by the CBI in its two chargesheets.
With an important milestone reached on Saturday in the case, the accused can now move for bail even as early as Monday as the Supreme Court had observed on an earlier occasion that the accused could seek for relief after charges are framed. They have also said they will approach the High Court against Saturday’s order.
The court said there was prima facie evidence that Raja, former telecom secretary Siddharth Behura and others conspired to allocate “valuable spectrum,” entrusted to them in the capacity of being public servants, to Swan Telecom Pvt Ltd and Unitech Wireless (Tamil Nadu) Ltd in violation of law to cause wrongful gain to the companies and thereby Section 409 (criminal breach of trust) is invoked against them.
The charges framed under various provisions of the IPC and the Prevention of Corruption Act also dealt with criminal conspiracy, cheating, forgery, faking documents, abusing official position, getting bribe and criminal misconduct by public servant. The offences entail punishment ranging from six months in jail to life imprisonment.
Minutes after the judge pronounced his order, senior advocate Mr Sushil Kumar, representing Raja, objected to certain portions of the order and said “how can the court write, on its own, that too on behalf of the accused that - I plead not guilty and claim trial.” The court offered to rectify the mistake and later Raja, like other accused, also put his signature below the line (written by the judge) which said “I plead not guilty and claim trial.”

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